Guest Bloggers

Category archives for Guest Bloggers

What is String Theory?

The title of this post is a famous question (posed, for example, by Joe Polchinski) which is modeled after an even more famous question by Ken Wilson, “What is Quantum Field Theory?”. I certainly can’t answer the first question, but Wilson’s question now does have a widely agreed upon answer (which is sadly not well…

Turn Around

For those of you willing to stay up late, there will be a total eclipse of the moon on August 28 visible to various extents over most of the western hemisphere and some of east Asia. The show is a little late for me (some might call it early) as I’m on the east coast…

For Your Weekend Enjoyment

Or, “Stealing Chad’s Ideas: First in a Series”. When you write ‘log’, do you mean base 10 or base e? What field do you work in? Update: Or base 2 for you CS-types.

Penguin suit

I’m off to Denver for a long weekend; two friends of mine are getting married (both PhD scientists, and exemplars of the two-body problem: one’s doing a postdoc at Princeton, the other at MIT…) I get to wear a tux, which is nice, because no one looks bad in a tux. In fact, a tux…

Maldacena on the Beach

As I mentioned earlier, I’m currently attending the Simons Workshop in Mathematics and Physics at Stony Brook University. The weather finally warmed up today, and we relocated to Smith Point Beach to hear Juan Maldacena tell us a bit about AdS/CFT and gluon scattering. If you’re looking for a precis of the talk, I’m afraid…

What is this “blog” you speak of

Some things I’ve noticed lately: Anton Zeilinger (Vienna) has a blog. It’s in German, but that shouldn’t be a problem, right? I found that out at Michael Nielsen’s place, where he’s started blogging again after a little hiatus. In an effort to improve on my bibdesk+bibtex+folder-full-of-local-pdfs system, I’ve been playing around citeulike, Papers, and Nielsen’s…

Crystal healing

Lest this blog turn into a one-trick pony, let me tell you what I did today that’s of a little different flavor. I epoxied some stuff onto some other stuff. More importantly, I calculated a band structure. This amazes me. Sure, all you squa^Wsolid-state types out there do this every day, over your cereal even,…

Alone in the Multiverse

The LHC is coming, and it’s time to place your bets. What do you do? (Fun though it may be, shooting the hostage doesn’t really help here.) We’re committed Bayesians (for the sake of this post, at least), and we want to assign a probability that the LHC will see supersymmetry. More generally, we have…

New York in August

I’m here at the Simons Workshop at Stony Brook out on Long Island. I’d like to talk a bit about the workshop later, but right now I just want to note that it is 56 degrees out. In New York. In the middle of August. Thunderstorms I’d understand, but cold, dreary drizzle? It’s August, not…

Twisty Little Universes, All Alike

When we left our story, we were stuck in the unfortunate position of living somewhere in a multiverse without any a priori way to figure out where we live. What might we do?